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Then came upon a world in ruins an anxious youth. The children were drops of burning blood which had inundated the earth; they were born in the bosom of war, for war. For fifteen years they had dreamed of the snows of Moscow and of the sun of the Pyramids. ” ― Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century

anxious youth, subject, and noun phrase? Why may it get placed after everything? I may not get what sentence, grammatically, one may report this? May it seem like passive? I may think in passive, it may go object verb subject. Here it seems to go came verb, a world in ruins noun phrase(object[?]), an anxious youth noun phrase, subject?

And may For in this get utilized like a conjunction?

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    The 'repackaging' in the first sentence is a literary device for rhetorical effect. It reflects the emotional language of the original (this is not an English work but an early 20th-century translation of a high-Romantic 1836 French novel). ... For is an ordinary preposition with a temporal sense -- "How long had they dreamed?" "They had dreamed for fifteen years." – StoneyB Jul 1 '15 at 23:34
  • I think I thought it maybe seemed like a preposition, or prepositional phrase. Why may it not get a comma after I think they may frequently go like, like For fifteen years, they had dreamed of the snows of Moscow and of the sun of the Pyramids. – saySay Jul 2 '15 at 0:06
  • A comma is unnecessary with such a short phrase: it is obvious when the phrase ends. – StoneyB Jul 2 '15 at 0:31
  • So a comma may maybe not seem perpetually requested there. All right. I thank you, StoneyB. – saySay Jul 2 '15 at 1:46
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This is inversion, yes. Stiff and unnatural.

Then came upon a world in ruins an anxious youth

An anxious youth then came upon a world in ruins.

An anxious youth then encountered a world which was in a state of ruin.

When every edifice --all buildings, all bridges -- is crumbling, the world is "in ruins". In a state of ruination.

For fifteen years they had dreamed of the snows of Moscow and of the sun of the Pyramids.

All during the last fifteen years, they had dreamed of the snows of Moscow and (had dreamed) of the sun of the Pyramids.

  • So I guess it may seem like a passive clause and a verb may get permitted to go there and not go maybe like object, verb, subject, and seem maybe grammatically all right? – saySay Jul 2 '15 at 0:08
  • @saySay You could also do it this way: "Then came an anxious youth upon a world in ruins" -- which is also 'literary'. – StoneyB Jul 2 '15 at 2:16
  • I guess I maybe don’t not like how this writer wrote this. (May that not seem too not all right.) I guess I aimed to discern if it, a verb going there and how it got written, seemed all right grammatically. (I may not get literary.) (I don’t think I customarily observe sentences placed like this.) And It seems Then came upon a world in ruins an anxious youth does seem grammatically all right. So I guess a verb may go in a not passive sentence former to placing a subject? That seems interesting. I thank you. – saySay Jul 2 '15 at 3:02
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    @saySay: It's an extremely stiff and unnatural inversion in your specific example, but that's largely because the verb came is further modified by upon a world in ruins before we even get to the displaced subject (an anxious youth, itself an unusual and potentially ambiguous noun phrase). But The English Lionesses actually outplayed Japan during the second half. Then came the disastrous own goal is more "reasonable". There's no "passive" aspect to any versions given so far (that would be A world in ruins was come upon by an anxious youth, which is an even less likely utterance). – FumbleFingers Jul 2 '15 at 14:39

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